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Daughter Gets Short Shrift From Mom Who Favors Her Sons

DEAR ABBY: Ever since I can remember, I have felt like my mother hates me. Growing up, my two brothers got whatever they wanted while I had to beg for things I wanted. An example: My brothers were given a car for graduation; I got contact lenses. Neither one could do anything wrong in my mother's eyes, but whatever I did was wrong.

Now that I'm an adult, she still treats me this way, and it's making me depressed. I have medical issues that she refuses to believe I have. What can I do to make my mother like me? -- DEPRESSED DAUGHTER IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR DEPRESSED: It would be interesting to know what kind of a relationship your mother had with her own mother, because it's possible that she's repeating a pattern she learned when she was a child.

I'm sorry you are hurting because of the way she has treated you, but it isn't possible to "make" somebody -- even a parent -- have feelings that just aren't there. What might help you is to discuss your dysfunctional relationship with your mother with a licensed mental health professional who can help you understand that if there is fault involved, it belongs solely with her and not you.

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